Saturday, August 24, 2013

Birthday Ponderings

My mind is pondering birthdays of the last 34 years... back to my first date with Glenn on my 17th birthday in 1979- The Muppet Movie. Heard the theme song from it on the Radio just a couple days ago and it still makes me smile.

I find myself shedding tears this morning, not so much of sadness, but missing Glenn and celebrating our birthdays together. Our birthdays fall 8 days apart so any celebration was joint, usually a lunch or dinner together... and a Sunday birthday lunch with the whole family after church. We only exchanged a few gifts over the years because the simple joy of being together was what we enjoyed most.

Even last year, Glenn was on an upswing, feeling well enough to eat some Chinese food at China Hut. We didn't really ever go the fancy route, it wasn't us... I think Olive Garden was our lunch choice once or twice over the years because their all you can eat Pasta was a favorite of both of ours.

Probably the thing we both enjoyed most was simply the time to talk, again, that's the thing I really miss- our talks. I had someone tell me once, after seeing us eating out for about our 15th birthday lunch after our marriage, that they were amazed watching us have our meal together. Thinking this statement odd, I asked why and he looked at me and said that most couples he had waited on over the years, and who have been together that long, well; they just didn't spend a whole meal talking so much. He thought that was really cool, that we looked like we enjoyed each others company like newlyweds. Well, we did, we really liked to converse, and the topics were all over the place, from the silly and simple, to deep and intense, as well as a lot of  memories and dreams. 

Dreams, there's that word again, we were talking dreams of the future almost up til the moment that we, became me. That's a hard one. 

I have a feeling that today may be a bumpy one, but it will be one that though there will be tears, I will also have lots of smiles cross my lips and heart as I think of all those wonderful birthday moments that we did have together, including last years final coast trip together that we enjoyed so much... the room was at a simple little hotel but we could hear the waves all night- it was perfect!

I will always love my Glenn, and cherish our time together. I will pause for the memories of the past, but at the same time I will continue to do what I know he would want me to do, and press forward into life (and it is what I would want for him if things were reversed). To dwell in the place of sadness doesn't do any justice to our life together... we loved life, serving the Lord together, and loving our family. And to honor Glenn, I will continue that.  Doing as it says in Philippians 3:14  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  - I know that I will find my bearings in this walk alone because, I am not alone, I have the Lord.

Happy 1st Birthday with the Lord, my love.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

It's Okay To Not Understand

Things happen in life that we don't understand, some big some small. That's okay, we don't need to understand, we need to trust God and do as He says.

This morning during my Bible time I was pondering the story of Naaman, he was a mighty man of valor but was afflicted with leprosy. Thanks to a servant he was directed to the Lord's prophet, Elisha for healing. He went to Elisha and Elisha sent his servant to tell Naaman to wash in the Jordan river 7 times. Well this annoyed Naaman quite a bit, it made no sense to him, why the Jordan, there were cleaner and nicer rivers where he was from, it was too simple. His servants spoke with him and he finally did it, and amazingly, he was healed and his skin restored to healthy skin.

As I pondered this story, I wondered, how many times does the Lord tell us to do something that makes no sense to us, so we don't do it, or we delay in doing it-- for me, probably more times than I realize or would want to know. Makes you think, what would have been if we had done as He directed, when He directed us? Would someones life have been radically altered? Would ours? We will really never know. 

The challenge, as I see it, is to do what the Lord directs me to do, when He says to do it. I may still never know the reason for it, or the why of it, or even the full impact, but what I do know, is that staying in His will is always the best option. And I want to try to respond better, I won't even try to pretend that from this day forward it will be 100%... I know myself better than that. But what I do know, is that I want to do His will, and that means I must always strive to listen for His prompting and respond.

This last year and a half have helped me to see and understand this better. It is easy when life's challenges arise, to began to become focused on only the bubble around you and how everything affects you and what is in your sphere. However something the Lord challenged Glenn and me in, very early on, was to look beyond ourselves and not 'navel gaze' as it were, but to reach out to others. Sometimes, it was something as simple as praying the moment we knew there was a need instead of procrastinating and then forgetting. Other times when in the midst of Glenn's own issues, we found ourselves ministering God's love to others. And I believe that it is partly because of this that we were given the extra year over the doctor's initial feeling of Glenn's prognosis.

During this time, I also know that another area God grew me in was to let someone know if I needed something, and this was a harder thing for me, that simple reaching out and saying that simple word- 'help.' Oh my gosh!! How can such a small word be so hard to say?? I still battle with it, I don't ever want to get in the pattern of always asking, but at the same time, when I am overwhelmed-- I need to. This goes for anyone that is in a time where the walls are all closing in-- if you need something ask! 

The Lord has shown me what an amazing family (of both kinds- blood and heart) I have... such support!! I want you all to know that I don't take any of you for granted, what you have done for me has been such a blessing... and that brings me back to wanting to hear the Lord better and have His eyes to do the same for others. It is those kind of things that will impact a life, a city, a nation and a world with a touch of His love. We are his hands to those around us, and something as simple as giving a smile to someone can change a life.

Be Blessed!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Psalms 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

I am blessed, in spite of the heartbreak of this last year, I know I am blessed and loved by the Lord, He shows me this in so many ways. 

One of the things that got me thinking, really thinking about how blessed I am is memories, you see, it was 34 years ago, this week that Glenn and I met, and tomorrow will be 34 years since our first date, which I still recall as if it were yesterday.

We went to the Muppet Movie, the first one, it was at the Craterian Movie theater. It was then that we decided based on the hair and the red drums that Glenn and Animal were really one and the same, lol. I even remember what I wore, black pants, a red plaid shirt and a skinny scarf/tie thing that was popular back then... that is a long time ago. Glenn was probably in one of his many pair of Levi cords and a short sleeve button up shirt.. (Since they were 75% of his wardrobe when we met.) After the movie we went to McDonalds, it was a nice, casual time, and just thinking about that day brings a smile to my face.
See the resemblance 

That date led to many more and eventually to our wedding, a lot of our friends were married around the same time as us, give or take 6 or 7 months either way... we got married in the winter, just had to be different I guess. And many of those same friends thought we'd never last together- but God had other plans. We begin put the Lord first about 8 months into our marriage, and that is what has given me this blessed life I live.

Remember, blessed doesn't mean perfect, it just means when it's good; God is there, when it's not so good; God is there... God is there to bring joy, peace, and strength for the storm. 

My family is a big part of the obvious blessing of the Lord. Our kids, though not perfect, are amazing! I can honestly say that they brought much joy to our lives, and really, very little heart ache, and for that, I am so thankful to the Lord. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.  We did our best to do this, and though we had our failings, God was faithful to fill in the gaps and hold them steady.

My 'Angels' ?  Whitney, Amber and Crystle.
As they grew, they have continued to be blessings, I have two wonderful bonus children added to the family through marriage. They are a fun bunch, though a bit crazy to be around... they may have gotten that from us, oh well. Life has never been boring!

MIB Squad- Jake, Glenn, Andrew and Jeremy

They all have strengths that are unique to each one, and as a mom, I see those, and I believe that to a point they see them in each other, and the older they get the more they will realize them in one another. I also am excited to watch the men and women that my children have, and will become as the years go by.

The more recent blessings in the family tree are of course the grandkids!! They are each wonderful, adorable little people who are also very unique... I marvel at the thought of what God will do in this next generation. Our heart was always, let our kids do better than us, and I'm sure that is how our children are for their little ones. Yes the future is bright and I look forward to watching them grow!!

Beyond, my immediate family is a wealth of blessings, my extended family has been there so much, I love them for everything they've done and do. Over all the years, and in the year of the health battle and to the present they have offered a strength of support in so many ways that truly blessed us and continues to bless me now.

Friends... I've said it before, you amaze me. You have "no dog in the hunt" but there you are. To help when we or I needed it, the times that you stepped out of your comfort zone to help us, in more ways than I can count, it overwhelms me. In the time since Glenn went home to be with the Lord, you continue to do the same... whether I want it or not. Not that I don't want it but I battle the independent spirit that says I can do it on my own, and I don't want to ask for help--it's hard, and you are there to step in, you pray for me, you pray with me, and you reach out, far beyond what I would ever ask, and you bless me. To say thank you seems so minimal, what you do and who you are is a blessing, I pray that the Lord return to you ten-fold all you have done for me.

Yes I am blessed-

  • I was blessed with Glenn in my life for nearly 34 years.
  • I am blessed with wonderful children and precious grandchildren. 
  • I am blessed with an amazing extended family.
  • I am blessed with wonderful friends.
  • I am blessed with memories to last a lifetime.
  • I am blessed with a future, that I have yet to get a grasp of, but I know that as time goes on, the Lord will stir my ability to dream, once again.
May your day, and life be blessed also! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

5 Stages? 7 Stages? Who knows? It hurts!

There are various thoughts on how many "Stages of Grief" there are... some say 4 maybe it's 5, others say 7- though it's really the same as the 5 just separated out a bit more. I really don't care how many, I just know it hurts!! 

Seriously, this grief thing sucks... I know it is natural, normal and it has to happen-- but that doesn't change the fact that it is painful, dark, tearful and lonely- even when you're not alone.

And I do know that I am not alone... Psalms 23:4 comes to mind a lot; Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. I know the Lord is with me, I feel His presence. Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. It is true, God comforts me, but the pain is real.

Grief is like the waves of the ocean; it sometimes is just quietly there lapping at your feet while you walk;
Other times it is like the sneaker wave that slams you down just before the riptide pulls you under. Some days are okay, I just face what is immediately in front of me and go forward, but other days... oh my gosh, suddenly the waves are slamming my emotions so hard.

Recently, I have found myself looking back over the last 3 months... yeah, it will be 3 months this weekend... life is very surreal at times. I only wish it were a dream, but it's not, so I press forward, a moment at a time, and through that, the moments become hours, the hours days, the days weeks and so on. "They" say time of grieving varies from person to person and I know this is true, but that still doesn't answer the unresolved thought in my head... when will the hurting stop? I know from the loss of my mom nearly 20 years ago, it will go away- with only occasional moments (like Mother's Day, with her) hitting the heart.

Don't misunderstand what I am writing here... I am not always overwhelmed with it, I do laugh and smile- yes genuinely, and I am fine... but still, there are those moments, when it really does hurt at a physical level. By the 'process charts,' I am moving forward in the process, but again, that doesn't change what I am feeling. Part of the annoying part of it all is that I have no real control of it, yes, sometimes it hits at a bad time and I can 'suck it up' and put on a happy face, but I know that it's not healthy to do that all the time, so often when a sneaker wave hits, I have to roll with it until I feel upright and ready to swim again.

Again, I am ever reminded that it is normal, that God IS with me, my friends are here to support me and that with time, it will get better, and it is. And I need to let go, and remember it's okay to not be in control of these feelings, and when I get them then I need to roll with them, and give them to the Lord... and that's what will get me through. God is Good, All the time and in Him I will trust...